I make my living as a business-aligned communication strategist. Basically, that means businesses and brands hire me to create and publish editorial content that engages their audience in ways that relate to specific business goals and objectives.
While consultants like me offer a valuable service, managing your company or brand's social media in-house is a better option, especially if you are active on social utilities like Facebook and Twitter. Here are four reasons why:
1. No one knows your business like you and your team. The members of your in-house team have their fingers on the pulse of your business and know its goals better than an outsider. Consultants like me offer a valuable service, but we can't possibly know everything that's happening in the daily life of your business or brand.
2. Your business is fluid and dynamic, not stationary and static: Having an outside communications strategist like me create an editorial calendar pinpointing 30, 60 or 90 days worth of Tweets and Facebook status updates ahead of time is great, but eventually they're going to come off sounding canned and out of touch. At the very least, have the consultant work alongside an internal team member, who can focus on the impromptu stuff that the outsider won't know about. Then transition the consultant's role to that insider on a full-time basis.
3. Your staff is accountable to you in ways that I’m not. A consultant like me has an agreement to create a set amount of content. Since I'm working for a number of clients, I'm likely to stick primarily to the terms of the agreement. Most likely, your in-house person has no such pressure and can always be on the lookout for new content to create and post.
4. Someone in-house likely has more passion for your brand than I ever will. Hey, love you to death, but my relationship with you has a deadline. Find someone on your staff with a passion for both your business and social media and set that person up to manage your social media profiles and accounts on a daily basis.
Now, having said all this, an outside consultant can have a long-term relationship with your company or brand when it comes to blogging. By design, individual blog posts are meant to be longer and less “of the moment” than updates on Facebook or Twitter. And for busy executives and others responsible for a company blog, it’s often easier to edit content than it is to create.
What do you think about hiring an outside consultant to manage social media? Let us know in the comments below.
Mikal E. Belicove is a market positioning, social media, and management consultant specializing in website usability and business blogging. His latest book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, is now available at bookstores. For more information, visit MikalBelicove.com.